G-Plan was founded by Ebenezer Gomme in 1898. Together with his brother-in-law Jim Pierce, they started the business in the market town of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. They began their new venture by making chairs and with their growing reputation for style and workmanship they were able to commission a new factory.
The family affair continued and Ebenezer’s two sons joined the company in 1909. They expanded their range of furniture to including cabinets and sideboards. Gomme was credited with being the designer that brought a uniform approach to furniture that worked together as a collection and not just stand-alone pieces. In 1931 Gomme passed away, he left the company in a strong position with over 800 staff and was one of Britain’s biggest and most successful furniture companies.
It was in 1953 when Donald Gomme designed a range of modern furniture that got it just right and the now famous G-Plan name was coined by Doris Gundry of the J Walter Thompson advertising group. With a budget to suit households, they made collections that the consumer could built up over time with G-Plan signifying ‘a plan for living’ and all furniture was marked with the G-Plan distinctive brand mark. The success of the marketing strategy led the company to the height of its popularity. The company was so successful that there was a long waiting time (over 18 months in some cases) for people to receive their furniture.
In the 1950’s G-Plan could see the soaring popularity of television and invented the TV Chair as one of their range. The small, comfortable and stylish chair was a hit, and it is easy to see why – these are sought after still and do not look out of place in a modern-day living room.
In 1987 the remaining members of the Gomme family decided to retire and the business was later sold. In 1992 the High Wycombe factory closed its doors for the last time. G-Plan furniture is still being made, under 2 different companies - Morris Furniture Group and the upholstered furniture is made in Melksham, Wiltshire under the name of G-Plan Upholstery Ltd.